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Report details health concerns for residents affected by CSG

Health Minister Lawrence Springborg
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg David Stuart

A REPORT chronicling the possible health risks caused by the coal seam gas industry in Tara has been delivered to Health Minister Lawrence Springborg's office in Brisbane.

It formed part of a protest against the industry by environmental group Lock the Gate.

The Symptomatology of a Gas Field survey was put together by Brisbane general practitioner and anti-CSG activist Dr Geralyn McCarron.

She said that in dealing with the community, she had concerns children could be experiencing damage to their nervous system, as some reported sensations of numbness and pins and needles.

"In my suburban practice, that's not something I would see in people of that age group," Dr McCarron said.

"My feeling is that people's concerns for their health have substance.

"There needs to be an intensive investigation to find out what's going on."

She said the government research from Dr Keith Adam - a specialist in environmental medicine - and the Darling Downs Public Health Unit was not sufficient.

A spokesman for the minister said all complaints and concerns were taken seriously, but the minister stood by Queensland's Health earlier report on Tara released in March.

The report, Coal Seam Gas in the Tara Region, found massive environmental changes in the area could have caused "solastalgia" - an affliction in which personal distress leads to physical symptoms.

The spokesman said the government was in regular contact with health providers in the Tara area and any complaint was monitored and investigated.

Describing her investigation as independent, Dr McCarron travelled to Tara - about two hours west of Toowoomba - for a total of nine days including three trips.

She spoke to those who had complained of health issues and their neighbours, eventually listening to the views of 38 families, about 113 residents overall.

The majority - 58% - reported some health issues, 19% said they were unsure and the remainder reported no ill affects.

Dr McCarron said her findings showed an investigation by Queensland Health into possible the risks of the gas industry to the community was flawed.

Topics:  coal seam gas health risks lawrence springborg lock the gate


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